What a difference a day makes!

Wow. Yesterday it was 50 or above, snow melting, got the antenna feedpoint re-connected and actually grilled hamburgers on the gas grill outside! Pete took the dog out to the dog park, which was followed by a bath since he (Buddy, not Pete) came home looking like one giant mudball. What a nice day. Of course we had a small pond forming in the back yard, the joy of living at the bottom of a hill.

Now it’s 10 or below, the pond is now a glacier of solid ice, and it’s snowing. Wind is blowing like mad, it’s just cold as hell.

The antenna work race

Well, the race is on!  This is supposed to be our last day of decent weather before we have another week or two of cold & snow.   I’ve got some work to do to get my antenna functional again.   I had a very temporary lashup with a balun soldered (more or less) on the end of the coax, but without any weather protection.   The rain & snow hit a few days sooner than I expected, so right now that balun is in the middle of a block of ice and the wires are disconnected.   I have to get it thawed out, the coax patched to the antenna, and the whole mess sealed up against moisture this afternoon or it’s another few weeks of no radio!

It’s a little frustrating to have a nice “new”(er) rig sitting here and not be able to use it.   I think I had less than 6 contacts for all of 2007…   I’d like to do better this year!

First day on the heat pump

The outside temp is finally over 20 degrees, so the heat pump has been running for the past couple of hours. Not bad… it’s a little odd to have what feels like barely-warm air coming out of the registers, but the noise level in the basement is a little lower (no gas burners or vent blower on), and the temperature is staying just as steady as with the furnace. We’ll see what the gas & electric bills look like.

Overall, the new system works much better than the old one. The temperature is staying much more constant, without the plus/minus couple of degrees we were seeing with the old furnace. I attribute that partly to the thermostat, and partly to the fact that the old furnace seemed to be just too big for the house. The air temp coming out of the old furnace was over 140 degrees F, so it would heat the house up in a BIG hurry. The downside was, it would also bump the thermal limit switch on a regular basis.  During the old furnace’s last day or two of life it was cycling on and off every 5-10 minutes and still not keeping the house up to the set temperature.

Baby, it’s cold outside

Three degrees F this morning, in fact.  That’s -16 to you Celsius speakers.  Damn cold.  Which is why it was especially bad when our furnace died last Friday.  We now have a nice, shiny new furnace and heat pump, installed yesterday as a couple of electric space heaters struggled valiantly to keep the parts of the house we were in above 60 degrees.  So far the new system seems to be working quite well.  It’s not quite as quiet as I had hoped, but it’s not bad.  Looks like the humidifier needs fixing as well, but it’s a minor thing.

All things considered, I’d much rather have the air conditioning conk out at 90 than the furnace die at 20.

Thieves, scumbags and vermin

Some people just need to be hunted down and beaten.

Take, for example, the vermin behind a company doing business in the Atlanta area. They’re variously known as VersaDebt, Warranty Activation Center, Debt Freedom, Debt Safe, Card Services, Client Services and probably dozens of other aliases. The current address I have for them is 4501 Circle 75 Parkway Suite A-1225 (Upper Level) Atlanta, GA 30339. Then there’s PO Box 674406, Marietta, GA 30006-0074. The domain registration s for Versadebt.com and some of the others indicate a couple of other suspects:O’Donald, Burt (BurtODonald@ibmi-us.com)
Innovative Business Marketing, Inc.
10021 SW 142 Street
Miami, Florida 33176
(305) 253-9977

Autenrieth, Joshua (goodliving13@yahoo.com)
Two J Consulting Group Inc.
108 N. Wymore Rd.
winter park, Florida 32789
(407) 758-3728

Oh, what a surprise!!! Florida, the home of an incredibly large number of thieves, cheats, liars, con men, murderers, drug dealers, and petty criminals of all descriptions. Apparently you can pretty much do as you please in Florida without the inconvenience of any semblance of law enforcement.

We have been getting telemarketing calls from these scumbags for a couple of years now. It’s always the same thing: forged caller ID with a fake phone number, a recorded pitch trying to sucker you into some scam – it used to be “debt and interest reduction for your credit card accounts”. Now it’s “Activate the extended warranty on your car”. All of it bullshit. We’re on the Do Not Call list, have been since it came on line. They don’t care. They know they can operate with impunity, because apparently the FCC and FTC are toothless old women, unwilling or unable to do anything. The GA Attorney General doesn’t care. I would be tempted to think these jackasses are paying people off for protection from prosecution, but I think the sad fact is you can get away with damn near anything illegal in this country any more, without any fear of having some government regulatory or law enforcement agency actually enforcing the bazillion laws we already have.

Like I said… some people just need an old fashioned beat down. Whatever you do, DON’T start prank calling (877) 680-3328 or (866) 620-3350 or (800) 350-3046, or FAX-bombing 678-238-0625, or hacking livedebtfreenow.com, versadebt.com, or ibmi-us.com. Just don’t.

Unless maybe you live in Florida or Georgia, then you can probably get away with it. Everyone else does.

The M&P is sweet!

Well, yesterday afternoon I finally got the opportunity to run a box of ammunition through the S&W M&P 40 Compact that followed us home a little while ago. Nice shooting gun! With a 3-1/2″ barrel it’s not exactly a long range target pistol, but that’s not what I bought it for. What surprised me Continue reading “The M&P is sweet!”

We seem to have trouble learning new things.

If there is one thing I hope we have learned from the present conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is that US involvement in the Middle East can have no positive outcome. Involvement by pretty much ANYONE in the Middle East can have no positive outcome. When you’re dealing with governments and groups led by people who lack the slightest shred of common thought patterns, you just can’t expect to be able to play in their sandbox. Continue reading “We seem to have trouble learning new things.”

Post-Christmas bloat

Some year I’d like to figure out how to convince myself I really do not need to eat enough for a small town during family get-togethers.   I think I did better this year than last, but it’s still going to take some gym time to work this off.   It may actually work out better for the dog.   Now that I have a decent hat to keep my ears from freezing, I may start taking the poor little guy out for walks again.   It’s easy to do when it’s warm, but at 20 degrees and windy it’s far too easy to just let him run in the yard and chase him around the house.

Well, back to the gym like the rest of the winter lemmings…

Is it just me…

or did the snow come about a week or two too early this year? I wasn’t quite done with things in the back yard when it started. I’m hoping we get a reprieve, maybe just a few days of decent temperatures with the snow melted off. I’ve got antenna work to finish!!